Benny Hester – Nobody Knows Me Like You – 1981

Benny Hester’s classic “Nobody Knows me Like You” is the very best Adult Contemporary pop album in the history of Christian Music! Hyperbole much? Nay! There will be other album that are classified as AC or pop higher on this list, but most of the albums were not really “current,” commercial vehicles. They appealed to a pop market, but were not actually purely pop music for the day. But NKMLY was in a class all by itself. All the while the CCM market was discovering they had a treasure in Benny Hester the artist, who, over the years, has not only delivered memorable songs, but actual classics that changed and shaped the CCM landscape. Most artists would be honoured to have one song that could be listed among the greatest in the history of the genre, while Hester has a handful! Long before he made a mockery of radio chart records with “When God Ran,” has had made a very potent career of not just brilliant hits, but overwhelming good albums within his genre. Borrowing liberally from the hit music makes of the late 70’s and early 80’s (Hall & Oates, Christopher Cross, Bee Gee’s, Elton John), Hester mastered his songwriting craft early and never slowed down. He was driven to be a recognized artist, all the while he was driven to express his faith in original and honest ways. Unlike the vast majority of his peers, Hester did not release an album every year like clockwork. Often there were a few years between releases and this gave him the opportunity to create great collections of well-written pop music. But no album would surpass his third (second CCM) album. With the album (and many albums like it) it is often the backstory that makes the album so intriguing and lasting. In the late 70’s Hester had record a series of songs and was getting nowhere with record labels. His debut (mainstream) release owns a tragic story and has become a collectors item of sorts. The label he was signed to folded and the warehouse holding the LP’s burned to the ground, destroying most known copies. Only a handful ever found there way into the hands of listeners. I am one those lucky few. Hester took those few songs and drove from Las Vegas to Canoga Park, CA and the then offices of Sparrow Records. Hester sat in the reception office until Bill Hearn (Sr.) finally agreed to meet with him. Hester played the songs for Hearn who signed him on the spot. Those songs and a few others were released as Hester’s “debut,” the self-titled Spirit Label release that was later knows as “Be a Receiver.” Soon after the release of the album, Hester found himself driving across the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. By the time he had crossed the bridge he had written the chorus to the song “Nobody Knows Me Like” without an instrument. He spent the rest of the day in San Francisco writing the song that he would forever attached to and that would make Hester one of the most popular CCM artists at the time. Hester went into the studio with a who’s who collection of musicians and emerged several months later with his classic. But the album took longer to get going because his new label (Myrrh) wanted Hester to work with producer, Michael Omartian. No one could blame Hester and the label for waiting to work with Omartian. But the time off also allowed Hester to fine tune his craft. It also gave the industry just enough time to forget who he was, and Hester and the label would have to start all over again and making Hester a known commodity.

Contributor David Lowman –

1 – Come Back – 4:14
2 – No Man’s Land – 4:13
3 – Rubber Canoe – 4:09
4 – Nobody Knows Me Like You – 4:44
5 – Step By Step – 4:53
6 – One More Time – 4:07
7 – Goodbye Salty – 4:39
8 – Real Change – 4:22
9 – You Loved Me – 4:04
10 – Christ The Solid Rock – 2:22

Acoustic Guitar, Vocals – Benny Hester
Art Direction – Dennis Hill
Artwork [Special Logo Design] – Tim Barela
Backing Vocals – Jeff Lams, Michael Omartian, Tommy Funderburk
Bass – Abraham Laboriel
Concertmaster – Assa Drori
Congas – Bobby LaKind
Coordinator [Production Coordinator] – Yvonne Garcia
Drums – Ron Tutt
Electric Guitar – Martin K. Walsh
Engineer [Second] – Ross Pallone, Steve Crimmel
Engineer, Remix – John Guess
Keyboards – Jeff Lams, Michael Omartian
Mastered By – Ken Perry
Photography By – Harry Langdon
Producer – Michael Omartian
Saxophone – Kim Hutchcroft

Companies, etc.
Phonographic Copyright (p) – Word, Inc.
Copyright (c) – Word, Inc.
Produced For – Rhema Productions
Recorded At – Hollywood Sound Recorders
Mastered At – Capitol Mastering
Pressed By – Monarch Record Mfg. Co.

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Author: David Lowman

Owner and writer at CCM's 500 Best Albums Of All Time.

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